Sedation Dentistry and General Anesthesia

Who goes to sleep?

Both kids and adults with the following:

  • Fear & anxiety from needles, noise, smell, taste or the whole procedure
  • Claustrophobia
  • Gag reflex
  • Local anaesthesia (freezing) ineffective
  • Past traumatic dental experience
  • Complex surgery and/or extensive treatment needs

Sedation options:

Nitrous oxide (laughing gas)

Mild sedative odourless gas administered through a nasal hood.

It requires cooperation from the patient.

Patients are awake but the nitrous oxide helps to relax them and alleviate pain & anxiety

Patients are able to drive after receiving nitrous oxide.

A light meal is recommended 3 hours before receiving laughing gas.

Oral sedation

Similar to nitrous oxide except:

Patients will need a drive home after the appointment by a responsible adult who is a friend, neighbour, parent, sibling or other family member.

Patients cannot go home alone or in a taxi alone.

Patients will not be to work, operate hazardous machinery or make important decisions for 24 hours following the appointment.

Deep sedation / General anaesthesia

Deepest level of sedation given by a separate certified specialist.

Used commonly for kids, special needs patients and adults where nitrous oxide is not possible or not effective.

Patients are fully monitored and deep sedation/general anaesthesia has an excellent safety record.

For healthy kids and adults, hospital access is difficult and the waiting period can be 2 years or longer.

Fasting is required pre-operatively and an escort is required following the procedure. Patients must then rest and avoid working, driving, operating hazardous machinery or alcohol (and cannabis) for 24 hours following the anaesthetic.